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Ready to call all the plays

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Darrin Nichol of Rankin Inlet was named the new president of Hockey Nunavut earlier this month.

NNSL photo/graphic

The upcoming hockey season will be busier than ever for Darrin Nichol of Rankin Inlet after being named president of Hockey Nunavut earlier this month. - Darrell Greer/NNSL photo

Hockey Nunavut and Hockey NWT are the two zones of the Hockey Canada branch of Hockey North.

Nichol, who's spent a number of years coaching and being involved with minor hockey at various levels, was named head of the organization after Denis Lambe of Iqaluit unexpectedly resigned midway through his two-year term.

Lambe announced his resignation shortly before Hockey Nunavut's June 9 annual general meeting in Rankin.

Nichol said he'll finish the term's final year before deciding whether to throw his stick onto the pile and seek re-election in 2013.

He said there's a fair amount of continuity on the Hockey Nunavut board, and the focus for the upcoming year will remain on the priorities established by the directorship this past year.

"Hockey Nunavut identified female hockey as a top priority in the territory and we'll continue to try and grow that program," said Nichol.

"This was a watershed year with the level of female hockey played across the territory.

"While that continues to be a focal point, working to re-engage with our hockey friends in the Kitikmeot will continue to be a priority for this organization.

"We also need to keep working towards the better structuring of our relationship with Sport Nunavut and we're making progress in that area."

The Hockey Nunavut board also includes vice-president Mike Courtney, secretary/treasurer Glen Ullyot, Baffin rep Mike McPherson, Kitikmeot rep Randy Pigeon, female rep Lori Idlout and referee-in-chief Rob Kavanaugh.

The positions of Kivalliq and senior representatives are vacant.

Nichol said there are plenty of men and women within the organization committed to hockey.

He said most of the Hockey North board members are well-known in hockey circles across the North.

"We're actually quite lucky in that Hockey Nunavut is well placed and represented across the North.

"We'll continue to be a proactive, fair and balanced organization working to advance hockey at all levels in the territory."

Nichol said it's essential for communication to be elevated, especially when it comes to communities knowing the roles of the two zones and Hockey North.

He said the zones and branch have to use every medium available to distribute information across the North.

"We're a big territorial sporting organization with close to 2,000 registered members in Nunavut this past year.

"It was a strong year for us, but, the operational challenge we continue to face is our lack of resources.

"We don't have a framework to support the hiring of an executive director, for example, or a more formal operational structure.

"Being run totally by volunteers, we need to elevate how we communicate to our constituents across the territory and we're working closely now with Sport Nunavut to do that."

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